Another thing that’s been on my mind since this Shelter in Place started, but I haven’t gotten around to writing about, and now the situation is starting to change – SIP orders have not been completed lifted, but more activities are being allowed – but I still have some thoughts I’d like to get out, even if it does seem like old news.
Anyway, this is about food. Not for thought, but the real thing that we all need to eat to survive. There hasn’t been any evidence that the coronavirus we are currently dealing with can be food borne, and here was a good piece on food safety. But getting food generally requires some sort of interaction with other people. So, potential for transmission.
Dine-in restaurants were of course shut down when this first started. Some have stayed open on a take-out basis. I don’t go out to eat a whole lot, but it is something I enjoy once in a while, and I’d like to support local businesses, but I have mixed feelings about the take-out thing. I thought this article articulated the concerns really well.
But yeah, restauranting is a difficult business. Even without virus induced shutdowns many do not make it. Sadly, this Shelter in Place may be the last straw for a swath of them that were otherwise making a go of it. And government relief may not provide any help to small independent restaurants.
From a sobering Esquire article on April 17, “The survey said that a vast majority of owners of independent restaurants—almost 80 percent of them—don’t think the CARES Act and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) stand a chance of saving them.
We’re talking about 500,000 or so restaurants that employ 11 million people, according to the foundation. Not coming back, or viewing a comeback as a long shot. Think about that.
Meanwhile chefs from around the country—indie chefs fighting for the idea that their creations deserve to stay alive—expressed outrage that Ruth’s Chris Steak House, a corporate chain, had secured $20 million in government aid.” WTAF?!
But it’s not ALL doom and gloom. Costeaux bakery in Healdsburg is continuing production and keeping folks employed while donating bread to the local food bank. You can support the Knead Program in the Costeaux online shop. Also, Kim Isley of Trees for a Change has set up Feed it Forward Sonoma County, which is buying gift cards from local restaurants and giving them to folks who are out of work due to the corona virus shut downs. Win-win!